Breast Cancer Research and Treatment

, Volume 134, Issue 3, pp 1247–1256

Cardiometabolic factors and breast cancer risk in U.S. black women

  • Jaclyn L. F. Bosco
  • Julie R. Palmer
  • Deborah A. Boggs
  • Elizabeth E. Hatch
  • Lynn Rosenberg

DOI: 10.1007/s10549-012-2131-4

Cite this article as:
Bosco, J.L.F., Palmer, J.R., Boggs, D.A. et al. Breast Cancer Res Treat (2012) 134: 1247. doi:10.1007/s10549-012-2131-4


Previous studies have suggested that metabolic syndrome may be associated with an increased risk of breast cancer, particularly in postmenopausal women, but U.S. black women have not been assessed. We examined the associations of abdominal obesity, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and high cholesterol individually and in combination with breast cancer incidence in the Black Women’s Health Study. By means of Cox regression models, we estimated incidence rate ratios (IRR) and 95 % confidence intervals (CI) for the associations of baseline and time-dependent values of self-reported abdominal obesity, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and high cholesterol with breast cancer incidence. During 516,452 person years of follow-up (mean years = 10.5; standard deviation = 2.9) from 1995 to 2007, 1,228 breast cancer cases were identified. After adjustment for age, education, body mass index at age 18, physical activity, and individual cardiometabolic factors, neither individual nor combinations of cardiometabolic factors were associated with breast cancer incidence overall; the multivariable IRR was 1.04 (95 % CI 0.86–1.25) for the combination of ≥3 factors relative to the absence of all factors, and 1.17 (0.85–1.60) for having all four factors. Among postmenopausal women, however, the comparable IRRs were 1.23 (0.93–1.62) and 1.63 (1.12–2.37), respectively. Our findings provide some support for an association between cardiometabolic factors and breast cancer incidence among postmenopausal U.S. black women.


Metabolic syndromeObesityInsulin resistanceBreast cancer



Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities


Body mass index


Black Women’s Health Study


Confidence interval


European Prospective Investigation of Cancer and Nutrition


High-density lipoprotein


Incidence rate ratio


MEtabolic syndrome and CANcer Study


Multivariable incidence rate ratio


Sex-hormone binding globulin


Women’s Health Initiative

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jaclyn L. F. Bosco
    • 1
    • 2
  • Julie R. Palmer
    • 3
  • Deborah A. Boggs
    • 3
  • Elizabeth E. Hatch
    • 4
  • Lynn Rosenberg
    • 3
  1. 1.Dana-Farber Cancer InstituteBostonUSA
  2. 2.Section of Geriatrics, Department of MedicineBoston University School of MedicineBostonUSA
  3. 3.Slone Epidemiology Center at Boston UniversityBostonUSA
  4. 4.Department of EpidemiologyBoston University School of Public HealthBostonUSA